Despite their status as nutritional powerhouses, eggs are too often knocked down a notch by critics who claim their golden yolks are best avoided.
But before you whip up your next egg-white omelette, consider this: the yolks are home to all sorts of goodies that the whites alone are lacking.
The bad reputation comes from the cholesterol in yolks, says Dr Catherine Shanahan, author of Deep Nutrition, why your genes need traditional food. Yes, there’s cholesterol in there, but, contrary to what we’ve previously been told, dietary cholesterol doesn’t seem to affect blood cholesterol, the type that clogs your arteries.
Plus, egg yolks are rich in unsaturated fats, including omega-3s, which fight inflammation and protect against heart disease, the biggest killer of Australian men. They’ve also got vitamin D and B12. Plus, brain-building choline and immune-boosting selenium—stuff you really don’t want to miss.
The American Heart Association used to recommend sticking to fewer than 300 mg of dietary cholesterol a day, but they’ve since decided there’s not enough scientific evidence to stand by that suggestion.
“I think you’d get fed up with eating eggs before you ate too many,” says Shanahan. Her tip: don’t overcook the yolks, or some of that dietary cholesterol can oxidise and become harmful rather than helpful.
And if you’re tired of your old morning fry-up, here are a few more outside the box (carton?) egg yolk ideas to consider.
“Using a grater, shave a hard-boiled yolk over your favorite homemade salad, then drizzle with a vinaigrette dressing,” says food blogger Vicki Shanta Retelny.
“Quarter a hard-boiled yolk and spoon over tricolor rotini,” Retelny says. Drizzle with oil and a dash of garlic powder.
“Cook a sunny side up egg and spoon over avocado toast, add a squeeze of lime juice, a dash of salt, and a sprinkle of black paper,” Retelny says.
Crack an egg and stir it up with your usual porridge, then cook as usual for a fluffier, creamier, more protein-packed bowl.
Top your favourite homemade or store-bought crust with any and all mix-ins you’d throw into an omelette. Crack an egg on top and bake until the egg white is opaque.
A version of this story was originally published on Prevention.com